Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Published by sylvia on 26 Jan 2010

Some things just make me laugh

I like Outback restaurants. They have great steaks, overall good food, and are a pleasant place to spend restaurant dollars. The Australia theme – well, it’s their gimmick, and it doesn’t make the food taste any less good.

So I was surprised, last night, when my waiter was obviously using an Aussie accent. I finally asked him if he was really from Oz or was he trying to win a bet by sounding like it. He assured me he was really from Australia, and I asked him some questions about his country. I can’t remember when I didn’t want to visit Australia, and he seemed happy to talk about his homeland. And he agreed that an Aussie working at an Aussie-themed restaurant in the U.S. was a nice irony. (Like he was going to disagree with a customer …)

But can’t you just picture the manager’s face when this guy with an Aussie accent and passport came in to apply for a job?

Published by sylvia on 25 May 2008

Memorial Day tribute to our military

We have the greatest Armed Forces in the world.

Our all-volunteer military consists of men and women who must accomplish goals set by others, sometimes at the cost of their lives. In many places around the world, the military is run by greedy officers to further their own ends. Elected officials have been routinely overthrown by military juntas for centuries. But our military has followed the orders of its Commander-in-Chief even when most of its members disliked or distrusted the President, such as when Bill Clinton held office.

And, mostly, it has comprised members who had ethics and tried to live by them. George Washington refused to allow himself to be named King of the new country. Robert E. Lee was not the only Southerner who resigned from the U.S. Army when he felt his primary duty was to his home state rather than the federal government. The occasional glaring exception to the high standard of conduct, such as My Lai and torture of Iraqi prisoners, has been punished. (Our free press takes some of the credit, of course, but let’s commend the military for their tolerance of this essential element of our democracy.)

Our citizen-soldiers take their can-do attitude into military service. The Normandy invasion during WWII is probably the shining example of the difference between rigid and free societies. On D-Day, no one in the German war machine had the authority to get the reserved Panzers into action (which experts agree could have turned D-Day into the worst Allied defeat) and Hitler’s personal staff refused to wake him up. But when Allied tanks were halted by enormous hedgerows, American ingenuity quickly developed several ways to enable them to advance, including the famous “rhinoceros” that cut through the hedgerows.

My father is a vet of WWII and Korea. I grew up during Viet Nam, and thought at the time that the antiwar activists were wrong to blame and abuse the participants. I’m glad today that even those who oppose our involvement in Iraq recognize the military deserve our commendation and support. My 16-year-old son is planning on serving in the Army after college. Although I naturally hope nothing happens to him, I’m proud that he has this goal.

There are (well-deserved) tributes to those who died or suffered injuries in the cause of freedom. But we need to also remember those who served, came home, and lived the rest of their lives as productive members of society, sometimes with haunting emotional scars. Thank you, all of you, for the freedom we take for granted.

Published by sylvia on 03 May 2008

My new blog home!

I have officially switched my attempt at blogging over here. My dear programmer hubby found this blogging software that not only allows me to write but allows readers to add their own comments, so enjoy!

Published by sylvia on 03 May 2008

What NOT to keep in a motor home

3/22/2008: If you’ve ever thought about keeping an emergency stock of food for “just in case,” such as in a motor home or camper, let me tell you about one item NOT to include if you live in a climate that freezes: canned potatoes. We’re cleaning out our motor home to sell and using up the food that was stored in it.  Anything in there has been there over a year, including in temps down to at least -10 F.  Sealed items like sugar were fine; so were unopened items like pasta.  But oh, those canned potatoes did NOT survive in edible condition.  I opened a can today to make a potato casserole, and they were the exact consistency of jellyfish that had been left in the sun and then rained on.  Blech!  Straight into the trash.  (The canned milk wasn’t in great shape either.)

Published by sylvia on 01 May 2008

Evidence for Creation: the cat

The basic idea of the evolutionary theory, grossly oversimplified, is that traits that promote survival enabled their possessor to survive long enough to reproduce.